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Contract Latrines are a simple common sense alternative to community latrines, because they avoid the
usual problems with cleaning. A typical scenario with Community Latrines is that they are well received and used at
first. Before long, however, the volunteers grow tired of trying to keep up with the cleaning for the entire community.
They stop. The latrines become thilthy, and people stop using them.
The principals of contract latrines are as follows:
1. Accountability. For each latrine, on any day,everyone knows who should clean it. Furthermore,
cleaning responsibility cannot be passed on until it is fulfilled.
2. Use is limited to those who share responsibility for cleaning it. Each latrine is given to a limited, specified number of
households. Ideally, of course, that would be 4 families, 20 people, as SPHERE standards suggest.
3. Users choose to enter into this arrangement, this contract.
4. Users manage the latrines themselves
Each day one family is designated to clean.
Then responsibility passes to the next, rotating continually through the list of families. A cleaning tool kit
serves as a physical indicator of responsibility for cleaning. The household that holds the
kit is responsible. Each day, when cleaning is completed, the kit is passed to the next family on the list.
Before one accepts the tool kit, however, they inspect the latrine to ensure that it is clean. If it is not, they are
encouraged to refuse to take the toolkit until the current toolkit holder fulfills their duties.
In the handover ceremony the cleaning responsibility is explained to women from each of the 10 contracted
No one family or individual is intended to have special responsibility in policing the system. On the
contrary, the concept is that peer pressure in a group-run cleaning rotation will be the most sustainable. Care should be taken in the contracting dialog, the handover ceremony, and the follow-up visits to explain the
system in order to try to avoid having one person responsible for minding the system. This is because,
that one person may soon expect pay or may feel over burdened and quit.
However (!), since the 10 neighboring households manage the system themselves, if they choose to modify the
system , I would recommend simply monitoring the situation, and not intervening unless there occurs a serious break
down in use or cleaning.
Talking Points for Contracting Latrines
� Would you use a latrine if there were a clean one for you to use?
� Would you like to join a group of households in taking over a latrine?
� There would be 10 households/families.
� Two people from one house cannot sign up separately. Each name should represent the men or the women from all the house.
� Each family would have a turn cleaning it one day in every 10 days.
� No one but those families would use or clean the latrine.
� Oxfam would supply a broom, a bucket, a hoe, and a rake.
� Those tools would be for use cleaning the latrines only.
� After a group of 10 families is found for one latrine, the location of the latrine would be decided together with an Oxfam Engineer.
Prepare each new latrine
Mark each stall with a unique Number
Collect a list of the 10 families that will use I using the Talking Points for Contracting.
Have an artist paint an educational picture on the inside wall.
Have a small "Handover" ceremony
Prep for Handover Ceremony
label the rakes, gloves, etc with the latrine number in both Arabic and English
role play to practice speaking on the 4 objectives
decide who will:
gather the latrine users
speak on objective 1
write the names on the latrine
handle the logistics
Pack list for a handover Ceremony
shovel to dig ash pit
mats for users to sit on
paints and brushes for kids
2 good markers
for each family:
a bar of soap
for each drop hole:
1 set gloves
1 hoe or shovel or spade
Good practices for Handover Ceremony
if you give 1 soap to each attendee, and some families are absent, best to simply give their bar to another member of the latrine group to be passed to the absentee later.
Reschedule if less than 6 of the families are present.
Best to have the same people doing ceremonies so that they can do them well. The messages passed in ceremonies are crucial to sustainability.
Write the names only after the 10 families have gathered. Name writing is part of the ceremony. Best to write the name directly on the front of the latrines. Folks seem comfortable with this.
Talking Points for Handover Ceremony
objective 1. Thank you for participating in this. You are helping all the community by using and cleaning this latrine.
is volunteer unpaid.
It helps to organize the latrines in the community.
welcomes your suggestions and your help
Explain that Oxfam staff and committee members will visit the latrines to check them, but not to clean them.
objective 3. The latrine is for you to use and clean.
Each day one family must clean the latrine, 1-10, and back to one again.
Please clean the ground in front of the latrine too.
After you clean the latrine please sprinkle ash into it,
then pass the cleaning kit to the next family on the list.
If the latrine is not clean, the cleaning kit must not be passed on, and the responsibility remains with that family to clean.
objective 4. Use and Value
Latrines promote health because they keep feces away from food and flies.
Please be sure to cover the drop hole.
If the cover doesn't fit well, please keep a rock on it to hold it in place.
Please teach your children to use the latrine properly and send older children to supervise younger ones when they use it.
objective 5. Do you have any suggestions or questions?
6. Now our teacher would like to speak to the children that will be using this latrine and to ask them to decorate it with paint. (Try to let every child have a turn.)
To be worked out over time:
best if each latrine group decides the following as they go along..
?should users be able to remove a member who does not clean?
?should users be able to resign?